How Do You Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?

carpenter bee on a branch

While bees are good for your garden, carpenter bees can wreak havoc on your outdoor structures and even your home. 

If you notice them lurking around your home, it’s time to do something about them. These bees can destroy soft wood surfaces including cedar and pine. 

So how can you get rid of carpenter bees? What if you do not want to kill the carpenter bees?

Today, we’ll dive into some of the best solutions for carpenter bee control in West Palm Beach, FL

What is a Carpenter Bee?

Carpenter bees are some of the most important pollinators around. Their appearance may vary based on location, but some may look similar to bumblebees. They are yellow or black in color, with a robust, oval body shape. They are fairly large, amassing up to 1 inch long, and they are found throughout the entire United States. 

They differ from other bees in that they are less social, and tend to build individual nests. Where do they build these nests? In trees, or even in your frames/building. 

That’s right, these bees get their name from the way they bore into wood. Their nests in wood are where female carpenter bees lay their eggs, which means that they may also hold bee larvae. 

Yes, they do sting. While the males tend to be a bit more aggressive, they cannot sting. It’s the female that will sting. 

Signs of Carpenter Bees in West Palm Beach, FL

Carpenter bee holes are one of the most recognizable signs of an infestation. They dig smooth, round holes into the wood. Check any buildings (or wood structures) on your property for these holes. 

How to Prevent Carpenter Bees

If you don’t yet have any signs of carpenter bees, that’s great! The best thing you can do is take steps to prevent the carpenter bees from attacking your structures. Fall is the ideal time to implement these preventive measures since the nests will be empty. 

Here are some tips for keeping these bees away from your wood surfaces:

  • Use hardwood instead of soft wood
  • Paint or stain the wood, as this may deter the bees.
  • Plug the holes and seal the cracks along your foundation line.
  • Repair screen tears.
  • Apply a natural carpenter bee treatment to deter the bees. You can use citrus spray or almond oil to repel carpenter bees as the insects do not like either.
  • Treat wood with borate. It’s not a chemical-free option, but it can deter the carpenter bees while protecting your wood. 

If you already had to get rid of carpenter bees, then use these preventative measures to help keep them away! 

How to Get Rid of Wood Bees

Sometimes, it’s too late to focus only on preventative measures. If you're already dealing with them burrowing into your wooden structures, then it’s time to get rid of them. 

Here are some ideas for how to get rid of them:

Loud Noise

The bees are very sensitive to loud noises, and thus they do not like them at all. One simple way to try to get rid of them is to play loud music near active nests. This can get them to disperse and leave (just check with your neighbors first!). 

This may get the bees to leave permanently, but there’s always a chance they could come back once the noise stops. Still, this method could help clear them out before using another option on the nest. 

Traps

Another way to remove the bees without killing a carpenter bee is to use a trap. Hang carpenter bee traps near any holes you see. The bees think that the trap is a nest, but once they enter they cannot get out. 

Non-Toxic Carpenter Bee Treatment

Another non-toxic option is to use the same liquids for prevention. Both sweet almond oil and citrus oil can help repel the bees. Spray the liquid around and in the bee holes to help deter them from the nest. 

Diatomaceous Earth

This is a highly effective way to kill carpenter bees. Its creates from fossilized algae, so it contains microorganisms. When the diatomaceous earth touches the pest, it destroys its exoskeleton. 

Note that it can also cause rashes to human and pet skin. You must wear long sleeves, gloves, and a mask to apply. Keep all children and pets away as well. Then, seal the bee nest after treatment. 

Carpenter Bee Exterminator in West Palm Beach, FL

Ultimately, the best answer to “how do you get rid of carpenter bees in West Palm Beach, FL?” is to call a professional carpenter bee exterminator. 

The residential and commercial pest control professionals at Native Pest Management will thoroughly inspect your property and create a custom plan for carpenter bee treatment. We aim to offer the safest, most effective pest control possible,  including carpenter bee removal. You can count on us for affordable, effective, and safe pest management. 

Learn more about our pest management solutions and how we can help your South Florida property today! Request your free quote below.

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